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SMSF and investing in property

While using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to buy an investment property has become increasingly popular, members must carefully consider whether it supports their overall investment strategy before they go ahead with this investment approach.

There is a condition that the SMSF trustee or any of their relatives cannot buy the property with the intention to live in it. The sole purpose of using an SMSF to buy a property must be to build wealth for retirement. With this in mind, a member must buy an investment property for logical reasons and not because they are emotionally attached to it. The importance of the property’s return on investment outweighs the property’s views and facilities.

Before purchasing an investment property, a SMSF member must evaluate how long it will take them to repay the debt. Current rent rates and the level of superannuation payments made by members should provide an indicator of whether it will be paid off in time for retirement. Otherwise, they may need to factor in selling the investment at the time of retirement or putting off their retirement.

Members must also take into consideration that some investment properties are more suited to a SMSF, such as properties with low ongoing and maintenance cost and a high gross rental return. They should avoid buying investment properties with high ongoing maintenance cost as these will only increase unnecessary costs and reduce the net rental income.

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Tax on super death benefits for dependants vs non-dependants

July 9, 2020

A super death benefit is the super paid after a person’s death, usually to a nominated beneficiary. These benefits are subject to different tax treatments, depending on whether the beneficiaries are dependant or non-dependant.

Superannuation death benefits will generally be received tax-free by tax dependants, who are considered to be:

Dependants will not have to pay tax on the tax-free component of their super in the event that they:

However, they will be taxed at their marginal rate if they receive a capped benefit income stream and:

Not all super death benefits are subject to tax; for non-dependants, there is a taxable portion. This component is largely made up of after-tax super contributions that the deceased member has made.

Super death benefit payments are subject to tax when:

Non-dependants must calculate how much money in the super account is a:

The amount of tax non-dependants pay will be based on their marginal tax rate, however, this amount may be reduced by tax offsets. For the taxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is your marginal tax rate of 17% (whichever is lower). For the untaxed element of the taxable component, the effective tax rate is 32% or your marginal tax rate (whichever is lower).